Chocolate and mint are the perfect pair for holiday desserts. Combine them in a mousse pie and everyone will be thrilled! Smooth and insanely creamy, this mousse tart has a chocolate cookie crust which makes it easy to put together. And it can be frozen.
The vintage recipe I'm sharing today surprised me.
Not in the beginning, because I love the combination of flavors (Mint Double Chocolate Brownies anyone?), and the recipe seemed pretty straight forward. But the first step results in a very dubious-looking mess, like jello that has an enormous amount of gelatin and you don't quite know what to do with it.
Well, after the cream is added and everything is whipped, a satiny, smooth, perfectly colored mixture emerges, wiping all doubts that it will be a great dessert. I sometimes wonder how anybody got to the end of the recipe with such a bad start.
Why this recipe works
- Easy to make: besides the refrigeration times needed, this is such an easy dessert to put together! It can be made the same day you plan to eat it.
- Flavor: the mint can be adjusted to your taste, and chocolate is always a favorite so this pie is a perfect dessert for this season.
- Make ahead: it can be frozen for several weeks or kept in the refrigerator for a few days.
- Chocolate: use the best quality of semi-sweet you can afford. It makes a difference.
- Cream: whipping or double cream is the best for achieving the texture and thickness we want. Single cream won’t give you the same results.
- Cookie crumbs: use plain chocolate cookies not stuffed or filled. You can also use a store-bought one.
How to make this pie
The cookie crust - these types of crusts are very easy to put together and can even be no-bake if you just mix the ingredients and pop the pan in the refrigerator to firm up completely. I like to bake it for 10 minutes to make it sturdier since I remove it from the pan before serving it.
The filling - there are two parts, one is like a stovetop pudding that has to be cold before whipping it with cream and making the most luscious mousse. Refrigeration time aside, it comes together very quickly and is really easy to make.
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Frequently asked questions
Cornstarch and gelatin are ingredients used for firming up a mousse. We use the former for this pie today and it works really well.
Mint is the general name for any type of extract, of which peppermint is just one of them. Spearmint is another popular type.
Most bottles of extract will have this info, but my experience is that you can keep it for one year without a problem. After that, it might sometimes start to have a funny or rancid smell due to the oils used in making it.
My expert tips
- Read the recipe: this is good advice whenever you’re baking, but in this case, since there are refrigeration times needed for the filling to set, take the time to plan for those, especially if you’re making this mousse pie the day you plan to serve it.
- Measuring: have all ingredients ready and measured, especially when mixing the first part of the mousse in a saucepan, so you can work quickly.
- Topping: I like the mousse to shine on its own so I simply sprinkle some crushed candy canes or shaved chocolate. But you can certainly serve this pie with some whipped cream.
Related recipes you might like:
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- 2 cups chocolate wafer (or plain cookies) crumbs
- 8 tablespoons of butter, melted
- 4 tablespoons sugar
- 2 ½ tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1 cup heavy or whipping cream
- 5.5 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, chopped (if you use chips make sure they're real chocolate)
- ½ teaspoon peppermint extract
- Crushed candy canes or chocolate shavings, for decoration
- Preheat oven to 350º.
- Mix crumbs with butter until it looks like wet sand.
- Place mixture in a 9-inch pie pan with removable bottom. Carefully press evenly against bottom and sides of the pan.
- Bake for 10 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack completely.
- Combine sugar and cornstarch in a small saucepan.
- Add milk, mix well until cornstarch is dissolved and cook on medium heat until the mixture reaches the boiling point. Stir frequently to avoid lumps.
- Boil for 1 minute, whisking constantly. It will thicken.
- Remove from heat and immediately add chocolate and mint extract. Combine well. The mixture will look like jello gone bad, don't worry.
- Cover with plastic wrap touching the surface and let cool to room temperature. You can speed this process by refrigerating it.
- Beat chocolate mixture a bit with an electric mixer until it starts to soften.
- Add cream and slowly beat until smooth, about 3 minutes.
- Pour the filling into the prepared crust and spread evenly.
- Refrigerate until ready to serve, at least 2 hours.
- Sprinkle with crushed mint candies or chocolate shavings right before serving.
Chocolate: use the best quality of semi-sweet chocolate you can afford. It makes a difference. I love Ghirardelli Premium Baking Chocolate 60% and Callebaut Semisweet Chocolate Block 54%. If using chips use a good brand like Ghirardelli Chocolate Premium Baking Chips 60%.
Cream: whipping or double cream is the best for achieving the texture and thickness we want. Single cream won’t give you the same results.
Read the recipe: this is good advice whenever you’re baking, but in this case, since there are refrigeration times needed for the filling to set, take the time to plan for those, especially if you’re making this mousse pie the day you plan to serve it.
Measuring: have all ingredients ready and measured, especially when mixing the first part of the mousse in a saucepan, so you can work quickly.
Topping: I like the chocolate mint mousse to shine on its own so I simply sprinkle some crushed candy canes or shaved chocolate. But you can certainly serve this pie with some whipped cream.
- Prep Time: 120
- Cook Time: 10 minutes
- Category: Pies & Tarts
- Method: Stovetop
- Cuisine: American
- Serving Size: ⅛
- Calories: 416
- Sugar: 29.9 g
- Sodium: 181.2 mg
- Fat: 26.5 g
- Carbohydrates: 43.4 g
- Protein: 4.8 g
- Cholesterol: 48.7 mg
Keywords: chocolate mint pie